Monthly Archives: June 2017
By Dana Scott
Periodontal disease is the #1 health issue plaguing dogs today. It’s estimated to affect more than 80% of adult dogs. Because periodontal disease is so prevalent, chances are your dog is affected too … even if he’s raw fed.
In today’s post, we’ll take a look at the unsuspected cause of this epidemic disease … and how new research says we might be treating it the wrong way.
What Is Dental Disease?
Once it appears, dental or periodontal disease is usually progressive and there are several stages of the disease.
Stage 1. Gingivitis
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums (or gingiva) and is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. The pocket of the gum that surrounds the dog’s tooth contains a narrow space (called a sulcus) and plaque can begin to form there.
Plaque is a film made up of colonies of bacteria, along with special proteins from the saliva, sugars and immune cells. Bacteria are living creatures and some species can excrete by-products that can trigger an immune system response. These by-products damage the gums and will cause inflammation.
The main sign of gingivitis is a thin red line on the gums where they meet the teeth.
Stage 2. Tartar
As the bacterial populations produce more toxic by-products, inflammation will increase and start to damage the gum tissue. When this progresses, the sulcus around the tooth will become wider and deeper, allowing even more bacteria to live there.
Once the sulcus widens, plaque will move from the tooth down to the sulcus, below the gum surface. The bacteria in the plaque continues to produce by-products and trigger inflammation. This is the major driver of advanced periodontal disease.
Plaque begins to interact with minerals like calcium and phosphorus in your dog’s diet and when this happens, the film becomes hardened. This is called calculus or tartar. Like plaque, tartar will first accumulate on the teeth and then move below the gum surface as inflammation continues. The outer surface of tartar is hard and rough and plaque clings to the surface and quickly becomes mineralized, creating more tartar and more irritation to the gums or gingiva.
In this stage, you’ll see more inflammation and tartar. The gums will be red and irritated and there will likely be an odor to your dog’s breath.
Stage 3. Periodontal Disease
The accumulation of some bacteria in the plaque along the gums creates inflammation or gingivitis. If the bacteria colonies are allowed to grow, the severity of the gingivitis will increase and the bacterial colonies will continue to damage the gums. The immune response will invade the affected areas and release immune cells called cytokines, which will also damage the tissue. At this point, the bacterial toxins and cytokines can cause bone loss and there will be quite a bit of calculus around the teeth.
Once this stage is reached, the gums will bleed easily and pockets will form in the gums. There will also be obvious bad breath.
If left untreated, the gums will continue to recede from the inflammation, there will be more bone loss and the dog may have loose or missing teeth.
The longer your dog lives with dental disease, the greater the risk to his health … not just in his mouth, but in all his other organs. But before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at the bacteria in your dog’s mouth …
A Closer Look At Bacteria And Dysbiosis
Until recently, dental disease has been thought to be the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth … but this is only partly true.
Your dog consumes well over a trillion bacteria every day. Some of these bacteria will move down to the gastrointestinal tract, where they’ll take up residence or be excreted by the body. Others will take up residence in your dog’s mouth and colonize in the plaque. But the bacteria that enters your dog’s mouth are continuously seeding the bacterial colonies that live in his gut … and this population of bacteria is critical to your dog’s health and immune system.
So if the bacterial colonies in your dog’s mouth aren’t healthy, the bacterial colonies in his gut won’t be … and your dog won’t be either.
The bacterial colonies found in plaque are extremely organized and this speaks to their importance in your dog’s mouth. Scrapings of dental plaque reveal an organized metropolis made up of tiny, organized microscopic bacteria colonies.
Collectively, these communities of bacteria and other tiny microorganisms are called a microbiome. Microbiomes are found on most body surfaces. The microbiome in the mouth is the second largest microbiome, next to the one found in the gut.
The microbiome in plaque isn’t a random population of bacteria … they all live together in organized communities. Researchers have discovered that Corynebacterium is the bacteria found right next to the tooth enamel and it grows outward from the teeth, where it networks with the next layer or colony of bacteria. Corynebacterium are packed closely together and adhere closely to the tooth and this makes them hard to remove with food or brushing.
The colonies living in the outermost layer of the microbiome are mainly made up of friendly strains of Streptococcus. These bacteria releases carbon dioxide, which helps the colonies of Streptococcus to grow.
These bacteria all live harmoniously with the body … in fact, bacteria and other microorganisms outnumber the amount of the dog’s own cells by nearly 100 to 1. When the bacteria in the microbiome are healthy, they deliver health benefits to your dog. This is called symbiosis … which means the relationship between the bacteria and your dog is symbiotic or beneficial to both. These bacteria manufacture short chain fatty acids and vitamins. They form the bulk of the immune system and they even have a direct connection to the brain, called the gut-brain axis. These bacteria are essential to your dog’s health. But not all of the bacteria living in your dog are friendly …
If the colonies of bacteria are disturbed, and some species die off while others take over, their influence on your dog will change. Researchers are finding that when delicate bacterial populations in microbiomes are reduced or less diverse, the risk of disease rises.
A study in cats with irritable bowel disease (IBD) showed that healthy cats had a much higher bacterial population in their gut compared to cats with IBD.
Another study found that the skin of healthy dogs was inhabited by a much more rich and diverse bacterial population than the skin of dogs with allergies.
Research is also showing that dysbiosis in the plaque, not plaque itself, is the real cause of periodontal disease. When the bacterial populations are balanced, the immune system won’t be alarmed and activated. But if the balance of bacteria becomes unbalanced, some unwanted species of bacteria can grow out of control and initiate an immune response. When the sulcus is inflamed, the cells in the gums will be deprived of oxygen and this lack of oxygen favors the growth of harmful bacteria … and once their colonies grow, they can crowd out other friendly colonies of bacteria by competing for the same nutrients and dysbiosis will occur.
If this dysbiosis isn’t repaired and balance returned to the microbiome, colonies of harmful bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis will start to destroy the tissue of the gums. Once the gums become inflamed, the immune system delivers nutrients like iron to the infected area … but these bacteria have adapted to feed on these nutrients and they start to rapidly grow out of control while the immune system continues to feed them by pumping more and more iron and other nutrients into the infected tissue.
How much damage is done depends on a few factors. Small breed dogs and brachycephalic breeds like pugs and boxers seem to be more prone to dental disease. It’s also more likely to occur in older dogs, but the immune response is critical to how quickly and how severely periodontal disease develops.
Diseases like diabetes or other health issues related to a compromised immune response (like allergies, arthritis, hypothyroidism, liver, bowel and kidney disease), will ultimately cause exaggerated inflammation in the gums and further fuel the dysbiosis.
Not only can diseases in other organs have an affect on oral health, periodontal disease can cause damage in your dog’s organs as well …
How Dental Disease Causes Other Dangerous Diseases
If the microbiome in your dog’s mouth is balanced, the bacteria colonies will be balanced and healthy and they’ll stay in their normal environment. But when the populations of some strains grow out of control, the bacteria will find it harder to compete and will migrate out of the neighborhood. Bacteria can travel from the damaged gums to the lymphatic and blood vessel systems and migrate to the body’s organs. This is called bacteremia and it’s very similar to what happens with leaky gut.
In fact the colonies of bacteria in the mouth and gut are very similar … they share 45% of the same colonies and populations. So if the bacteria in the mouth grow out of control, that dysbiosis will seed the same dysbiosis in the gut. The toxic by-products from the harmful bacteria will also cause inflammation and erosion of the cells lining the gut wall, and more bacteria and toxins will enter the body, creating a cascade of chronic inflammation that will eventually reach the organs and cause disease there.
In humans, periodontal disease has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, IBD and stroke. Research in dogs also shows a link to heart, liver and kidney disease.
So can you prevent this from happening by brushing your dog’s teeth?
Why Brushing And Cleaning Might Hurt …
Because most of the bacterial colonies are found in plaque, many veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth … or even a yearly veterinary dental cleaning under anesthesia.
This will clear away most of the plaque, but the bacterial populations begin to colonize immediately after plaque is removed. Studies show that about a million little organisms already cover the tooth within a minute of cleaning. And if the populations are disrupted, harmful bacteria might take hold before the friendly populations grow and crowd them out.
And you have to think about where all of that bacteria goes … you’re not getting rid of the bacteria, you’re just brushing it off his teeth and it will travel someplace else.
Think of it this way .. a mouth that is sick with unbalanced bacteria will seed the entire gut with bad bugs every day. But brushing your dog’s teeth can cause bacteremia, especially if his gums are bleeding. The bacteria will move from his mouth to his bloodstream.
In a healthy dog, the immune system can handle and clear the surge of bacteria. But if your dog is already struggling with inflammation, dysbiosis, or other chronic disease, his immune system can reach the tipping point with brushing or cleaning because it introduces so much bacteria into the bloodstream.
So let’s summarize.
- Plaque is a biofilm of organized bacteria and other substances. This colony lives in harmony with your dog.
- If this colony is wiped out with brushing, it will grow back within minutes.
- If the colony is disrupted, harmful bacteria will overgrow and cause inflammation. If your dog suffers from chronic inflammation (and most dogs do), the bacteria will begin to enter the bloodstream as the bacterial by-products and immune cells break down the gums.
- Once this happens, the bacteria in the gut will be affected, and bacteria will further infiltrate the body and migrate to the organs, where it will cause more chronic inflammation and ultimately, disease.
So maintaining the health of your dog’s mouth is critical to his health … but traditional methods like brushing might not be enough and may even cause health issues in some dogs. Dental care isn’t as simple as getting rid of plaque because there are bacteria living there that keep unwanted bugs at bay.
So let’s look at how you can protect or restore the delicate community of bacteria in your dog’s mouth …
How To Prevent Dental Disease Naturally
The first step in preventing or treating dental disease is to protect the microbiome from damage. There are several causes of dysbiosis in dogs, including:
Antibiotics: Antibiotics kill all bacteria indiscriminately and will devastate the microbiome.
Poor Diet: A processed diet that’s high in starch or sugar can fuel unfriendly bacterial colonies. Genetically modified foods or foods with pesticides can also kill bacteria and create dysbiosis.
Drugs And Chemicals: Many drugs and chemicals will harm bacteria.
Processed Diets: Most processed pet foods are completely free of bacteria. If there isn’t a stream of bacteria entering the body, the bacterial colonies will die off, causing dysbiosis. The same applies to raw foods that have undergone high pressure pasteurization. (Related: The Disturbing Cause Of Dental Disease In Dogs)
In short, you must protect your dog’s microbiome as a first line of defense. This will make sure the bacterial populations in his plaque are balanced and healthy.
But what if your dog already has some dental disease or you think his bacterial colonies have been compromised? What if your dog has allergies or other immune-related health issues?
Treating Dental Disease With Probiotics
Probiotics are friendly populations of bacteria that compete with harmful organisms for places to live and for food … and these bacteria help to balance the immune response.
And as more research is being done on the microbiome, dental research is shifting its focus there as well.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association found that probiotics were effective in treating and preventing dental disease. And of course, this makes perfect sense.
Probiotics will easily colonize in plaque and compete for colonization sites and food with harmful bacteria. They produce anti-bacterial by-products that discourage the colonization of harmful bacteria. They can change the pH of the mouth and the amount of oxygen and they can support the immune system.
But not all strains of probiotics are able to colonize in the mouth. The study found that Lactobacillus species of probiotics were much more likely to colonize on the teeth and in plaque than Bificobacterium species. And other studies show that the populations of some species of Lactobacillus were larger in healthy people compared to those with dental disease.
Other research found that Lactobacillus species in the mouth are capable of reducing the damaging inflammation that can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease.
So how do you get more of these friendly bug species into your dog’s mouth?
There are two ways to do this.
- Probiotics In His Food
Add probiotics to your dog’s food daily. This can be in the form of probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables or kefir or you can give your dog a probiotic supplement (or both). Because it’s so critical to protect your dog from dysbiosis, these should be added daily.
If you’re adding a commercial probiotic product, make sure there are more than just a few strains of bacteria and make sure there are at least 10 billion CFU (colony forming units). Remember, your dog already has a trillion bacteria entering his mouth every day so you want as many probiotics as possible to maintain or restore the balance.
You’ll also want to be sure your dog’s food contains plenty of prebiotics, which are insoluble fiber ingredients that feed probiotics. There’s no sense in putting the bugs in your dog if you don’t feed them or they will just die off!
And finally, steer clear of dairy-based probiotics as they can trigger allergies in many dogs.
- Probiotics In His Mouth
Probiotics in your dog’s food will go a long way to restore the balance in his gut bacteria. But dogs aren’t all that great at chewing their food, so many of the bugs will just get passed right to the gut. To introduce healthy bacteria into the mouth, you can put your probiotic powder in a small spray bottle with some filtered water (chlorine will kill the bugs so don’t use unfiltered tap water) and spray it in your dog’s mouth. Then you can put the rest in his food where they’ll help seed his gut too.
If you do this, make sure you don’t store your probiotics in water. Make a new batch right at meal time because the bacteria won’t survive long in the water.
If you brush your dog’s teeth, make sure you spritz his mouth with this mixture afterward to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria populations.
As researchers look into the microbiome as the true source of health and immunity, we’re finding that some old treatments just don’t stand up today. The same could apply to brushing your dog’s teeth and regular dental cleanings. But for now, try adding some probiotics to your dog’s mouth every day and you just might be able to avoid those dental cleanings altogether!
Friday, June 09, 2017 by: Bridgette Wilcox
(Natural News) If you’re considering getting a pet, here’s another reason to do so: New research suggests that pets — dogs in particular — balance the good and bad bacteria in a home by boosting the diversity of indoor microbes. This essentially turns them into a probiotic that boosts the immune system and positively affects gut bacteria.
Studies have found that dogs raise levels of 56 different bacterial species that can be found indoors, making the population of indoor microbes more diverse, NYTimes.com reported. While the prospect sounds horrifying for germophobes, being exposed to bacteria from dogs can actually be beneficial for humans.
For one, exposure to animal bacteria may have a positive effect on human moods. “Exposure to animal bacteria may trigger bacteria in our gut to change how they metabolize the neurotransmitters that have an impact on mood and other mental functions,” Jack Gilbert, University of Chicago Microbiome Center Director, was quoted as saying in the report.
This could account for the anti-depressant effect that pet companionship has on humans, which was previously just attributed to the release of oxytocins.
Exposure to the bacteria brought in by dogs is also good for the immune system, particularly among kids. The report said that children who grew up exposed to dogs are less likely to come down with autoimmune diseases such as asthma and allergies because their immune systems have been exposed to more bacteria, making them stronger. Yale environmental engineering professor Jordan Peccia said that allergies are a sign of a poorly-calibrated, overly-sensitive immune system, one that attacks contaminants that it shouldn’t attack. According to him, being exposed to animal micro-organisms early in life — particularly during the first three months — stimulates the immune system early on, allowing it to better distinguish between bad and good bacteria.
When dirty means healthy
Such findings align with the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that not being exposed to enough bacteria in childhood actually weakens the body’s immune system. The hypothesis, which was introduced in the late ’80s by immunologist David P. Strachan, was explained through a bodybuilding analogy in an article on LiveScience.com. The article likened the immune system to bodybuilders, who build their strength by lifting increasingly heavy weights. In the same way, the immune system has to “train” by being exposed to contaminants that they must fight off.
Many other studies support the hygiene hypothesis. Among these is a late ’90s study by Erika von Mutius, a health researcher who, in comparing allergy and asthma rates in East and West Germany, found that children from dirtier, more polluted East Germany had less allergic reactions and asthma cases compared to those in West Germany.
Another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that rates of asthma were lower in Amish children than in Hutterite children. While both groups have similar genetic material and lifestyles, the Amish follow only traditional farming techniques and therefore have more contact with farm animals compared to Hutterites, who make use of modern farming methods.
Striking a healthy balance between hygiene and contaminant exposure may be tricky for parents, but it can be done. While regular cleaning and disinfecting is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), encouraging children to play outdoors, get dirty, and interact with pets may help in strengthening their immune system.
Love dogs? Get more dog-related news on PetHealth.com.
June 25, 2017
by Karen Becker, DVM
- Dr. John Robb, a Connecticut veterinarian, has become known worldwide for his fight against profiteering and over-vaccination in veterinary medicine
- Dr. Robb’s incredible story serves as a wake-up call to pet parents and the veterinary community about the dangers of bucking the system, and why the lives of companion animals hang in the balance
- Protect the Pets is the movement Dr. Robb founded to raise awareness about the dangers of over-vaccination and the urgent need to change existing rabies vaccination laws in the U.S.
- Protect the Pets is NOT an anti-vaccination movement; the goal is to protect animal companions from over-vaccination and vaccine toxicosis
Today I’m talking with a very special guest, Dr. John Robb, a veterinarian for over 30 years and world famous almost overnight (more about that shortly). Dr. Robb attended veterinary school at the University of California, Davis in the early 1980s, followed by a one-year internship at a private practice in Connecticut, the New Haven Central Veterinary Hospital.
“It’s true I’ve come in the public eye more recently,” says Dr. Robb. “But honestly, I’ve been fighting to be a veterinarian my whole career. The drive profits in veterinary medicine has really become a problem, especially with the advent of companies like Veterinary Centers of America (VCA) and the Mars Company coming in and owning veterinary hospitals.
These are businessmen and businesswomen. These are people that want to make profits but don’t necessarily have the best interest of the pets involved. And unfortunately, the veterinary establishment, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and other organizations, seem to be joining forces with them instead of putting their hands up and saying, ‘We have a problem here.'”
Don’t Save the Dog: Profits Over Pets
On Dr. Robb’s very first overnight shift at New Haven Central, a vet tech dropped off a stray dog who had been hit by a car. The dog was in bad shape, and Dr. Robb was supposed to put him to sleep. The dog opened his eyes and looked at Dr. Robb, who of course worked the rest of the night to save him.
“I was in big trouble in the morning because I had spent a lot of money and there was no owner,” Dr. Robb says. “I kind of knew at that point it wasn’t really about the pets. Fortunately, the owner was eventually found and reunited with his dog, and he sang the praises of New Haven Central, so I was off the hot seat. But I learned there’s a big thing about money in our profession that supersedes caring for the pets.”
Dr. Robb has been fighting the system ever since, and especially on the topic of vaccines. Many people have understood for decades that we’re over-vaccinating pets, but the problem seems to have bubbled to the surface recently in a big way.
‘I’m Hurting My Patients With These Vaccines’
Like all veterinary students, Dr. Robb was taught in vet school that vaccines are good and prevent disease. But once he was a practicing DVM, he began to see vaccine side effects such as life-threatening anaphylaxis, as well as longer term vaccine-related disorders.
“I began to read the veterinary literature like JAVMA, the Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association,” says Dr. Robb. “I started to research on my own. I came across veterinarians who had been showing that vaccines caused a lot of serious side effects, including hemolytic anemia and cancer at the injection sites. I had a problem now. I’m a veterinarian, and I’m hurting my patients with these vaccines.”
Dr. Robb began changing the way he did things in his practice. For example, he lengthened the intervals between vaccines, and lowered the dose because it was very clear to him that small pets couldn’t handle the same amount of vaccine as larger animals.
Increasingly, Corporations Dictate How Veterinary Medicine Is Practiced
When he bought a Banfield Pet Hospital practice, Dr. Robb realized the franchise was very much into over-vaccinating. So he put his own protocols in place, including “smaller dogs receive a lower volume,” and only one vaccine per visit. He also didn’t give all the vaccines the franchise recommended. Then Mars Petcare bought Banfield. Dr. Robb explains what happened next:
“They basically came in and said, ‘Look, we want your franchise back. In fact, we’re buying all the franchises back. We control the doctors. We’re going to give you about a third of what it’s worth and you’re going to leave. Maybe you can go open up another hospital.’
I said, ‘I’m not going anywhere. I have 15 years left on my contract. You can’t tell me how to practice veterinary medicine. That’s my job, so get out.’ But they took my franchise anyway. They said if I didn’t go quietly, they would report me to the state board, because I was lowering my vaccine volume and they said it was against the law. And so they did. They reported me to the Connecticut State Board of Veterinary Medicine.”
Buck the System? You’ll Be Handcuffed to a Stretcher and Taken to a Psych Ward
Mars/Banfield sent a letter to all 5,000 of Dr. Robb’s clients stating that their pets weren’t protected (immunized against disease). So Dr. Robb contacted his clients as well, and recommended they have their pets titer tested to show they were protected. That’s when the strong-arming really escalated.
“They put armed guards in front of all the PetSmarts in Connecticut,” Dr. Robb explains. (Banfields are located inside PetSmart stores.) “Two sets of armed guards, one paid for by PetSmart, and one paid for by Mars. They made a big scene and tried to blame it on me.”
The first time he attempted to visit his practice, Dr. Robb was handcuffed to a stretcher and taken to a psychiatric ward.
“The second time, they arrested me,” he says. “I’m just trying to hand out literature to do a titer and not revaccinate the dog without doing that, because I knew my pets were protected. I had done titers and I knew it.
It ended up in federal court. They lied to the judge and said, ‘We were offering titers.’ They did everything they could not to do a titer. They injured so many pets, some died, because they revaccinated all of them. It was part of a cover-up. I was vaccinating correctly and they didn’t want anybody to see that their pets had immunity.
The fight with Mars was in front of the state veterinary board, who had copies of all the scientific articles I had collected on vaccines, because I provided them to them. They told me they didn’t care about science. These are veterinarians and they don’t care about science? They said I broke the law. Even if I have to kill my patients, I have to obey the law. I said, ‘You guys are crazy. I mean, you’re crazy.’
This is the state of veterinary medicine today. We have mandated rabies laws, when instead we could take a simple blood test and find out that these pets don’t need the shot. We veterinarians are in bondage now, forced to injure our patients. Then you’ve got Mars coming in and trying to control veterinarians as their resource.
Karen, I thank God you’re standing up. I thank God other veterinarians are standing up, because most veterinarians want to do the right thing, but they’re scared to death about their license and repercussions.”
A Movement to Return Morality to the Veterinary Profession
I received a rabies vaccine at the age of 13 because I was getting into wildlife rehabilitation. When I entered veterinary school and told them I’d been vaccinated at 13, they insisted I be titered rather than automatically re-vaccinated. So why is it perfectly okay to vaccinate pets against rabies over and over and over throughout their lives? I think we know why. It’s the almighty dollar. Vaccinations are a major source of income for veterinary practices.
But the good news is the nightmare Dr. Robb has lived through has turned him into an agent for change. He and his wife used their retirement savings to start the Protect the Pets movement in 2006. “It was never to make money,” says Dr. Robb, “but to bring morality back into veterinary medicine.”
“I already had a track record of trying to stand up for the rights of pets, the people who own them, and veterinarians. Now suddenly I’m talking to a worldwide audience.
Because I was willing to put my license on the line and all my resources to do what I love best, which is be a veterinarian and protect my patients, this has become a movement of the heart. People are joining me. People like you, Karen, and all the people who have been fighting these issues for years. We’ve reached a tipping point and now we’re working together.
Before, we were isolated. The people whose pets were being injured and dying were isolated. They had no voice. They were told it wasn’t the vaccination. Even though four hours after the shot, their pet was suddenly blind and seizuring, it wasn’t the shot. It just was coincidental blindness, coincidental epilepsy.
Or a pet began bleeding internally and was diagnosed with hemolytic anemia. Or there were suddenly tumors on the right hip at the injection site. ‘It wasn’t the shot,’ they were told. Then one day they realized there was a public figure out there saying, ‘It WAS the shot.'”
Pet Parents Are Coming Forward to Tell Their Stories
Veterinarians have no legal obligation to report adverse reactions to vaccines, so there’s no real database. The veterinary industry, which includes the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), seems to have no interest in creating one. It’s deeply disturbing. These are veterinarians. How can they not be concerned about the adverse effects of pet vaccines?
But pet parents are coming forward to tell their stories, and they are the ones driving this change, because they’ve had enough. As veterinarians, Dr. Robb and I and others are working to amend the rabies laws and bring morality back to a profession gone wrong where vaccines are concerned.
“Corporations like Mars, who think it’s okay to victimize pets for profits, are going to be rudely awakened, because we, the people, control them,” says Dr. Robb. “Because we spend money and we decide where we’re going to spend it. We have the power here. We just have to unite. That’s the bottom line here. We are uniting now.”
Why Is This Life-Threatening Vaccine Reaction Kept Hidden?
According to Dr. Robb, one of the best-kept vaccine secrets is the incidence of anaphylaxis. I personally know people who’ve adopted or purchased a puppy and had the pup die of anaphylactic shock on the exam table at the first vet visit immediately after receiving a vaccination. Invariably, the veterinarian who gave the shot tells the devastated owner the vaccine had nothing to do with the puppy’s death. It’s asinine.
Dr. Rob references a 2005 Purdue University study that addressed adverse events occurring within the first 72 hours after vaccinating dogs. One of the study’s chief investigators was a Banfield medical director named Dr. Karen Faunt. The study showed that the incidence of adverse reactions is higher in smaller pets, and multiple vaccines cause more reactions. However, the study’s conclusion was that vaccines are safe.
During a legal deposition, Dr. Robb’s attorney asked Faunt: “Why didn’t you include in your study the dogs that died of anaphylaxis? Certainly those reactions occurred within the first 72 hours?”
“I’m telling you, her jaw dropped,” says Dr. Robb. “Because it turns out there were at least six animals that died of anaphylaxis and they didn’t include them in the study. Instead, they concluded the vaccines were safe.”
Become a Partner in the Protect the Pets Movement
“Even as we’re talking here today,” says Dr. Rob, “there are pets out there being injured, dying, and being given injections they don’t need. It’s happening right this minute, and there’s no time to waste. Lives depend on education, encouraging each other, and taking action steps such as contacting state legislators. You can look me up on Facebook, John Robb, for more information.”
You can also reach Dr. Robb at 203-731-4251, or contact him through his Protect the Pets website.
“People think I’m so popular that I can’t talk to people,” he says. “Baloney. This movement is about you, and I want to talk to you. I want to know what your situation is. We need to work together. I need to hear people’s voices, understand their situations, and see if they want to be part of the movement.”
The first goal is to amend existing rabies laws. There are 200 million pet parents and advocates, and 40,000 members of the veterinary establishment. As Dr. Robb points out, WE should be dictating to THEM and not the other way around. As pet owners, we make the decisions for the animals in our care.
An Important Distinction: We’re NOT Anti-Vaxxers
It’s important to point out that we’re not anti-vaccines. There’s a huge difference between too many vaccinations and protective vaccinations. We’re not advocating never vaccinating your pet under any circumstances. We’re advocating the smart use of minimal vaccines to create immunity against disease in puppies and kittens, with follow-up titers for the lifetime of the pet.
I think it’s really important to make that distinction. There’s a big difference between creating protective immunity in a pet and creating vaccine toxicosis. What Dr. Robb and I are talking about is the danger of over-vaccinating dogs and cats.
Some veterinary vaccines are substantially more toxic than others. It’s your job as your pet’s advocate to know enough about the subject to make the best decisions for your animal companion. And if your vet doesn’t respect your opinion and point of view, find a new vet.
“The job of veterinarians is to vaccinate to produce immunity with the smallest volume and the smallest number of vaccines to produce that immunity,” says Dr. Robb. “Once the pet is immune, we’re done.”
Titer Tests in Lieu of Re-vaccinations
“I was speaking to Dr. Ronald Schultz yesterday, and he’s helping us,” says Dr. Robb. “He’s in favor of titers, as you know. He’s been trying to put this approach forward for a long time. He pointed out that rabies is the worst of all the vaccines in terms of toxic reactions, so it’s extremely important to deal with the rabies laws first.”
According to Dr. Robb, about 20 to 25 percent of veterinarians are now doing distemper/parvo titers in lieu of vaccinating. But most vets still won’t do a rabies titer because rabies vaccines are the only vaccines mandated by law in all 50 states. A positive rabies titer isn’t acceptable in lieu of re-vaccination.
Many vets charge an arm and a leg for titer testing, which is unfortunate. Dr. Robb currently charges $32 for a rabies titer and $54 for all three (rabies, parvo and distemper for dogs). Some vets will do a blood draw for under $10, others charge much more. Dr. Robb suggests finding a vet who will do it for a reasonable price. The cost of titer tests will decrease once they become the rule rather than the exception.
Putting the Heart Back in the Practice of Veterinary Medicine
In addition to helping pets and pet parents, Dr. Robb is also very passionate about helping veterinarians who are in bondage to the current system.
“We want to free them to practice veterinary medicine from a heart perspective,” he explains. “That’s also what this movement is about. The suicide rate among veterinarians is four times higher than the general population. It’s because they have to go against their heart and injure animals.”
I so appreciate Dr. Robb’s passion. I’m heartbroken over what has happened to him, but grateful for the beautiful gift that has resulted from his difficulties. He has blown the topic of over-vaccination wide open in the veterinary community, and I’m forever thankful because I’m not sure it would have happened without him.
“One more comment about the worldwide thing,” says Dr. Robb. “It’s worldwide, because we may set the standards in this country, and then other countries will adopt them. There are pets in Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan and all over the globe. We want to reach all of them. We’ll start Protect the Pets England and Protect the Pets France. We are going to go wherever pets are being victimized. We’re going to set them free. That’s what this is all about.”
Dr. Robb and Rodney Habib of Planet Paws put together a short information video of Dr. Robb testifying about over-vaccination and overdosing issues in pets. You can view the video here at Planet Paws. Thank you, Dr. John Robb!
Yesterday, I wrote about Chinese authorities stopping a truck jam-packed with 800-plus dogs bound for slaughter. Today, I read a story about a truck with nearly 1,000 small animals crammed inside — including birds, chickens, bunnies, and guinea pigs – and left in the searing heat in Fresno County, California. The temperature inside the truck surged to 107 degrees. By the time the police arrived, notified by neighbors who reported an odor coming from the truck, the heat had claimed 18 animals. Ten more died after authorities got into the vehicle and started pulling them out.
These animals were not bound for slaughter, but for sale at pet stores. It’s a reminder of our home-grown problems here in the United States.
It’s also a reminder that with the first day of summer coming tomorrow, there are acute hazards for animals in transportation. Cars and trucks heat up extraordinarily fast, even with the windows down, as temperatures soar outside. Even on an 80-degree day – which residents of many parts of the country would beg for this time of year – the temperature inside a car can climb to nearly 100 degrees within 10 minutes.
Summer after summer, we shake our heads as we see a cascade of news stories about dogs dying after being left in hot cars. First responders on the scene to rescue animals left in hot cars make heartbreaking discoveries: claw marks left on the door, ripped seats, nail particles strewn in the vehicle.
In addition to building awareness that prompts better behavior, we are also attacking the problem from a policy angle. In recent years, we’ve convinced more than half of the states to pass laws to allow private citizens to break into cars and free animals from life-threatening circumstances. This year, lawmakers in Arizona, Colorado, and Indiana took final action on these so-called “Good Samaritan” measures, and Oregon Governor Kate Brown can sign the bill on her desk to do the same. Sixteen states now allow certain public officials to rescue animals in hot cars (Nevada passed a bill this year to improve and expand their provisions) and 10 states allow members of the public to rescue animals in hot cars provided certain steps are taken. Even more states grant immunity to first responders who must rescue animals in distress or prohibit leaving pets unattended altogether.
Intervention is carefully defined and kept as a last resort only to be used when all other options have been exhausted and the animal is in visible distress. But all responsible pet parents would sacrifice a car window to save the life of their animal. When it comes to property versus the life of an animal, that’s not a close call.
The safest thing you can do for your pet this summer is to leave him or her cool at home while you run errands. Take the pledge to never leave your pet in a hot car.
The post More states say ‘yes’ to breaking into cars when a dog is at risk appeared first on A Humane Nation.
Source: A Humane Nation
JUNE 18, 2017 BY
Whoo hooo! Hey, any of you guys have a cough?
Panic Time? Not if You’re Smart.
The canine influenza virus (CIV to the lab folks, or dog flu to most of us) has made another come back. Dog flu was all the rage in Chicago in 2015, and I posted about the likely “genus epidemicus” (remedies to cure and/or prevent this illness) back then, and I’m sure it still applies today.
What’s changed that it’s going around again?
Very little, from the sounds of it. It’s cropped up at some dog shows and a
recent post on the AVMA site reveals it’s moved back into several states this
In May 2017, canine H3N2 influenza was diagnosed in dogs in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, and Illinois. This was the same strain of H3N2 involved in the 2015 outbreak in Chicago.1
I was a bit surprised to hear of the resurgence, as I expected there’d be a
wide spread immunity by now, two years after the initial run.
Also surprising to me is the apparent hysteria to get dogs vaccinated, likely
fueled by the media, who are milking the “contagion factor” all they can.
What’s in it for them? More eyeballs on their station/website, more ad sales.
Here’s a sample from a blog reader who commented on one of my earlier dog flu
This is definitely the HOT topic right now in my dog circle. We do agility and
it’s all the fear right now. Starting in Georgia and Florida and now in Texas
Many are ordering the vaccine. Many fears about these strains going around if caught can cause permanent lung damage and cost thousands of dollars to treat your dog. The stories are scary. I am having faith in Homeopathy.
Seriously?? “Permanent lung damage?” From the flu?
Sounds like unfounded hysteria to me, until I hear post mortem results that prove otherwise.
Let’s get the facts of this flu in hand, and have a plan in place that’s risk free, for both prevention and treatment, if your dog should get this flu.
There are two measures for every epidemic, whether human or animal. They are:
Very different measures.
The first, morbidity, just means how many are sickened by a given infectious disease. It’s akin to contagion. How easy is this virus to catch? That’s morbidity.
The second, mortality, like it sounds, means how high is the death rate in the population that does catch the bug?
Just like the 2015 dog flu outbreak, this same virus is quite contagious, but not much of a threat to reasonably healthy dogs:
The H3N2 virus exhibits extremely high mobility and low mortality, and an
estimated 3 to 5 percent of dogs infected die.
Dr. Hawkes lost one of his black Russian terriers—though he’s quick to point
out that this particular dog had additional medical issues.
“It was pretty scary to see my 10 big dogs taken down in a matter of days,”
“Additional medical issues?”
In other words, this was not a healthy dog.
Although most dogs recover without incident, deaths due to H3N2 have been reported.3
Oh, and no scientist anywhere is citing “permanent lung damage.”
Oh, those pesky flu viruses, they seem to like to spread their influence beyond the borders of species lines.
The first we knew of dog flu was in 2004, when H3N8 apparently jumped from horses to greyhounds in Florida.
And our latest dog flu variant, H3N2, has infected some cats.
Following the initial diagnosis in Chicago, additional cases of canine H3N2
influenza were reported in a number of states. In early 2016, a group of
shelter cats in Indiana were diagnosed with H3N2 canine influenza. It is
believed the virus was transmitted to them from infected dogs.4
No humans have caught this flu in either variant to date.
How to Think Through the Vaccine Hype
With the help of main stream media and shock jocks on local TV news shows,
there’s been a rush to get dogs vaccinated against dog flu.
Let me help you see why that’s not in your best interests.
First, we look at efficacy, or how well it protects. Much like flu in humans, there’s more conjecture about efficacy than there is hard data to suggest we can rely on it protecting the vaccinated.
Vaccines are available for both H3N8 and H3N2 canine influenza. A bivalent
vaccine offering protection against both strains is also available. Currently,
there are no canine influenza vaccines approved for use in cats. Vaccination
can reduce the risk of a dog contracting canine influenza. Vaccination may not all together prevent an infection, but it may reduce the severity and duration of clinical illness.
The canine influenza vaccine is a “lifestyle” vaccine, and is not recommended
for every dog.5
“May not altogether prevent an infection?”
“…may reduce the severity and duration of clinical illness?”
Yes, and I may be a genius billionaire with yachts in five oceans and a fleet of private jets who could have retired 20 years ago.
Then, we always need to look at safety, as you well know if you’ve read anything on this site or many others concerned about vaccines and our current epidemic of vaccine injury in kids and animals.
Vaccines in general, and I’m sure this one is no exception, lack both efficacy and safety. Read that link on safety above for the inside scoop on the animal side of that.
And look around at the startling rise in autism and death from peanut allergy, both of which paralleled closely the rocketing rate of childhood vaccine “requirements.”
Add to that my recent post about the latest study the skeptics didn’t want you to see, comparing vaccinated vs non-vaccinated children, and you should have any concerns about vaccine safety verified in a hurry.
Conventional Treatment? You Can Do Better, Trust Me.
You know the old saw,
If your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail?”
Well, that hammer in Dr. WhiteCoat’s hands is antibiotics. Given freely, given way too often, and causing all sorts of gut and immune system damage.
And, last I checked, antibiotics still aren’t effective against viruses, right?
And CIV stands for what, again?
Canine influenza virus.
So, how’s that treatment working out, out there in nail land?
The majority of infected dogs exhibit the mild form of canine influenza. The
most common clinical sign is a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days despite treatment with antibiotics and cough suppressants. 6
And side effects are ruined gut flora, where 80% of your dog’s immune system resides?
How loudly can you shout NO!?
A Free Report to Put Your Mind at Ease
I recognized that my earlier post on the 2015 dog flu prevention and treatment remedies was a bit difficult to sort out. I was pretty excited when I wrote it, as we’d had real, verifiable cures of dogs with dog flu from two homeopathic remedies.
To that end, I collated what you need to know to use homeopathy to do two worthy things in this particular epidemic:
- Effectively and cheaply and safely prevent dog flu.
- Treat it effectively, cheaply and safely, if your dog was unlucky enough to contract dog flu.
Click on this button and you’ll have my Dog Flu report in short order:
Let’s keep track of this so we stay on top of the best remedy choices to prevent and/or treat it.
- Canine Influenza, Canine Influenza, https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Canine-Influenza-Backgrounder.aspx
- Canine Influenza Virus 2017: Beyond Two Show Dogs, Canine Influenza Virus 2017: Beyond Two Show Dogs, http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/Canine-Influenza-Virus-Beyond-Two-Show-Dogs/?en_click=1&utm_campaign=editorial&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=feature
- Canine Influenza, Canine Influenza, https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Canine-Influenza-Backgrounder.aspx
- Canine Influenza, Canine Influenza, https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Canine-Influenza-Backgrounder.aspx
It was 5:30 pm CT, only minutes before closing, when a man walked into the Harris County animal shelter holding a shoebox. The staff would begin the lengthy task of getting everyone settled for the night. But inside the box was a single puppy.
Immediately, the veterinarian team stopped what they were doing and went to work on her.
This puppy was lifeless. She laid still but her skin crawled with fleas. She had several recent puncture wounds on her neck, and many old ones along her shoulders and back.
They scrubbed away the puss and sores and loaded her up with antibiotics.
Her stomach was bigger than she was – filled with intestinal parasites.
As soon as K-9 Angels saw her, we knew we had to give her a chance.
This tiny, grey baby couldn’t even stand up, but the fear in her eyes was all we needed to see.
She had absolutely no muscle mass and could only drag her back legs.
At only 4-5 weeks old she should still be nursing from her momma, but she was now on her own. She was pooping straight blood, even though her parvo test was negative.
The vet staff recommended she be bottle fed to help regain some strength and ensure she receives around the clock nourishment. So she’s now with one of our most experienced bottle baby feeders (also Fuzz Buzz’s foster mama)!
After just a few hours of feedings and medications, she’s able to stand and walk somewhat. She’s not able to lift herself from sitting, but with help she can get up and move! Her strength shows that she is ready for the battle ahead, and we need to be there to support her.
Soon we will find out the full extent of what’s going on internally. At just under 2 pounds and with such terrible malnutrition, she has a long road to recovery.
She doesn’t have a name yet, but for now we are calling her “baby Ari” after her foster sister (and look-a-like.) Her big sister Ari is the only one she would stand up and walk to… she’s desperate for a dog mother.
If you’d like to help with baby Ari’s recovery, please consider making a donation.
Even the smallest amount will help: … https://www.paypal.me/K9AR
Through this special link every penny of your donation is passed on to us (no transaction fees!)
When we get the tests back from the vet we’ll know whether she can be saved. Right now we’re just hoping she has the strength to go on. We’ll be as strong as she is.
Follow baby Ari’s updates on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/k9angelsrescue
I knew Michelle was up for adventure when I spotted her. As her brothers snored nearby, she reached out to me.
It was a match. After I adopted her, she began climbing into my backpack — a sign, perhaps, that she was hoping to join me on work assignments.
I bought a crate, buckled it into my car’s back seat and off we went around town. Gradually, we took longer trips, including the California coast.
Last summer, Michelle and I traveled in my fully packed Prius from Southern California to British Columbia and back, a journey of about 6,000 miles.
Dogs get most of the ink when it comes to car trips, but I can attest that cats also can be great company as you head down the highway.
Michelle’s curiosity and independence made me laugh; she also occasionally kept me warm (or at least kept my feet warm), whether in a tent, a motel or a lodge. She also won hearts and admiration by being sociable with people she trusted.
Here are tips to help Kitty become a first-class travel companion:
A strong cat-owner bond is key. After she took up residence with me, Michelle would run to the door when I left for work, and I could hear her crying as I drove away. Clearly, she wanted to be with me, in the house on the road.
Train your kitten early. Take your furry friend on short trips. This not only introduces the car idea but also may predict (or help avoid) car sickness.
Don’t force the issue. If your pet doesn’t want to go, make other arrangements. If you start assessing your pet’s willingness to travel early, any reluctance to go won’t come as a surprise and you won’t be scrambling at the last minute to find a caregiver, said Dr. Liz Stelow, a faculty member at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Keep the number of human car riders in check. Traveling in a car with a lot of people or especially young children isn’t the best for a cat’s mental health, and it increases the risk of escape, Stelow said.
Make sure your plans are locked in. Scope out pet-friendly lodgings and make reservations, especially for the busy summer season, so you don’t end up car camping when you didn’t intend to.
Visit the vet. Discuss vaccinations and travel requirements, especially if you’re planning foreign travel. A rabies shot is a given, but other requirements may surprise you. Mexico, for instance, requires treatment for ticks before entry and treatment for parasites within six months of entry, Stelow said.
Discuss anti-nausea medications as well as calmatives. Prescription products may be more effective than some over-the-counter drugs, Stelow said. If you’ll be away a long time, take enough regular medications to cover your time away.
Get documentation. Ask the vet for a current health certificate, which usually is required to cross state lines and national borders. This should be done no sooner than a week before departure. Also, carry copies of all health records.
Check with border agencies and airlines well ahead of time to learn about international travel regulations, which may take months of preparation, said Dr. Brian Collins of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Seek advice from vets on prevention of fleas, ticks and worms. “A trial of chosen medications at home can’t prove that it will help on the trip, but you can avoid having a medication that will cause a reaction” while you’re on the road, Stelow said. “The first day of the trip is not the time to find out.”
Make sure you can get your cat back if it goes astray. Kitty should wear a collar and tag with your phone number. Microchip information should be up to date. Carry a current photo for posters or to inquire with strangers about whether they’ve seen your cat.
If you’re camping, ask park rangers or camp-bound managers about predators, such as bears, mountain lions or coyotes and take precautions.
Secure Kitty in a crate when you’re driving. Buckle the container into the middle of the back seat so your cat sees you (and some scenery) but is away from the loudest engine noise. Or you can pack around the crate to hold it in place, but make sure the vents are clear.
A hard-shell case that offers room for your pet to sit up and turn around works best, and don’t forget a cozy blanket and small toy.
Stop for breaks so your cat can stretch its legs and be reassured, if necessary, with some affection and attention.
Feed at the right times. Some cats do suffer motion sickness. I fed Michelle after we arrived at the lodging or an hour or two before we left for the day.
Use an enclosed litter box. (A file folder box with a lid is an inexpensive option.)
Take toys. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean Kitty doesn’t need to be amused or entertained.
Besides breaks while driving, consider breaks in your journey to give yourself and your cat days off. It’s good for both of you.
Everything was set for my vacation when I realized my aging dog had too many medical issues to be boarded, sending me on a frantic search for a pet sitter.
My dog and home survived my eleventh-hour hire, but I wish I knew then what I know now.
“I’ve hired pet sitters, and I’ve hired a nanny. It’s the same process for me,” said Dr. Tim Hackett, an emergency and critical care vet and director of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo. “Make sure they have good training, references and know what to do in a crisis.”
To begin the search, ask for recommendations from your vet, dog trainer or local Humane Society office or check databases for the National Assn. of Professional Pet Sitters or Pet Sitters International.
You can find other options by searching online or asking friends and family. To begin, start with a telephone interview and ask lots of questions.
“Are they familiar with common problems that dogs or cats may run into while their owners are away?” Hackett said.
Determine whether the sitter will stay overnight or stop by once or twice a day, and discuss specifics such as the frequency and duration of walks.
“I know people who, as they’ve grown their dog-sitting business, they watch two or three [homes] at a time,” said Jennifer Holmes of Fort Collins, a pet sitter and vet technician who is trained in animal CPR. “I do one at a time, because I think the quality of care is better; they can have my full attention.”
Invite the sitter to meet your pet and study how they interact. Discuss expectations, such as whether the sitter will get your mail, and your house rules, including whether the caregiver can partake of your food or drink.
I learned an important lesson when our return flight was delayed and the sitter replied to my text by saying she had left my house.
“I’m sure he’ll be fine,” she said of my dog.
“Fine” was a relative term. Besides the accident he had while being cooped up, he was hungry when I finally got home.
It’s imperative to have a friend as backup. Make sure your sitter has the number and that both have keys to your house.
Include these details in a contract. Samples can be downloaded from the Internet (search “pet sitter contract”), but customize it with clear instructions, adding contact information for you, your vet and the emergency clinic.
Finally, leave a medical directive with the caregiver that outlines how much treatment you want for your dog or cat if it were injured or ill and how much you would be willing to spend.
I first heard about pet medical directives when I hired Holmes as a dog sitter after my initial less-than-satisfying experience with someone else.
She insisted we draft one before leaving town, explaining that her 12-year-old dog died the day after she flew to the West Indies. She had the foresight to leave a directive with the vet and had told the couple watching her dog what to do.
It made it easier on the sitters, and Holmes said that having her wishes carried out helped her find closure.
I now have a network of experienced pet sitters whom I trust, and we all have the same expectations. That makes going on vacation and coming home that much more relaxing.
My dog, Piper, is a white fluff ball, a 20-pound rescue pup who prances around like a pint-sized princess and greets me with a play bow and kisses when I come home. Imagine my surprise when my fair-haired girl locked me out of the car in the middle of the desert one recent night. She had the cellphone, my purse and the car keys. I had a disbelieving look on my face.
We had gotten off Interstate 8 at a rest stop outside El Centro, near the Mexican border. I walked Piper, put her back in the car and was walking to my door when I heard the electronic locks snap. I grabbed the door handle and pulled, but it wouldn’t budge.
Piper was standing on the car key fob. I had apparently dropped it when I lifted her into the car.
The story ends happily, thanks to a CalTrans worker who lent me his phone to call a roadside service with a locksmith.
But it scares me to think what would have happened if it had been daytime — and hot — or if someone hadn’t helped me.
The experience offers a lesson in what not to do on a road trip with your pet.
Thankfully, snafus such as this aren’t common.
You’re more likely to confront stress and carsickness when you take your pup on a road trip, said Dr. William Ridgeway, a vet at Long Beach Animal Hospital.
“Those winding roads to Big Bear can be tough on dogs that aren’t used to traveling by car,” he said.
His advice: “Take them around the block in the car. Get them used to it. If you take several small trips and build up, you’ll find out if your dog’s ready to go on a longer trip. If motion sickness is a problem, there are medications similar to Dramamine for pets.” Other tips: Don’t feed your dog for a few hours before you leave, Ridgeway said, and walk your pet before you depart.
Many experts, including Ridgeway, recommend using a harness for your dog (or crating it) while traveling in the car.
“A dog is more comfortable if it’s restrained because it doesn’t get slammed into corners every time you go around a curve,” he said.
Don’t let your dog sit in the passenger seat or on your lap. In a collision, the air bag can injure or kill your pet, according to the American Veterinary Medical Assn.
Other possible problems: Small dogs may jump into the driver’s footwell, interfering with braking and acceleration; big dogs may lean across the driver, blocking the view of the highway.
Take regular breaks on the road, stopping for 15 to 30 minutes every three to four hours. Allow enough time for your pet to explore the unfamiliar territory. If possible, find a dog park or other pet-friendly attraction.
Remember your dog is wearing a fur coat. Don’t ever leave it in a parked car in the heat for even a few minutes. Hundreds of dogs die each year in parked cars despite open windows. Temperatures can climb 20 degrees in the first 10 minutes. Your dog could suffer heatstroke and die.
When you pack for your trip, don’t forget to pack for your fourlegged pal. Take rabies vaccination records, if you’re crossing state lines, and other vaccination records if you plan to board it along the route (while you visit a no-dogs attraction for a day, for instance).
Carry your vet’s contact information.
Other doggy necessities: ID tags with your mobile number, pet food (you may not be able to buy the type his digestive system is familiar with), a bowl, leash, doggy pickup poop bags, medications, a favorite toy and bed or blanket for sleeping.
Apply flea medications before leaving home.
Consider the climate where you’re traveling. Some dogs don’t cope well with heat, especially short-nosed breeds. Others can get sunburned.
Check ahead to make sure you can find good accommodations that will accept a dog. Also consider whether you’ll have time to spend with your dog. If not, it might be better to leave him or her at home.
Remember, most hotels won’t allow you to leave a dog in your room while you’re gone. You’ll need to take him with you or arrange for a pet sitter, whether that’s someone you hire or a family member.
Camping trips may seem ideal, but keep in mind that some national park sites don’t allow dogs; many don’t allow them on trails. Call or check national parks websites.
Once you arrive, try to maintain a similar schedule to the one you have at home, feeding and walking your dog at consistent times.
Most of all, have a good time. And keep track of your key fob.